Crocell
Baptized in Bullets/Funeral Bliss

Denmark’s Crocell’s 5 previous albums have all been great. A nice mix of brutality intertwined with melodic death metal and some black metal influences as well.  Still operating as an unsigned act is a shame as this is a quality death metal act.  This is a rather interesting dual release. 2 ep’s, Baptized in Bullets/Funeral Bliss each with 4 songs so technically it amounts to a full length.

“Chariots of Hellfire” opens the first ep Baptized in Bullets.  Brief start before the monster blast beat kicks into high gear. Then the tune gets into mid-paced speed before atmospheric moments with an epic and anthemic buildup.  The thunderous drums guiding this part as it sounds like a march and then right into brutal blackened death metal blasts.  Pretty intense opener. “Lustrous Bayonets” is up next and the mid- paced rumbling heaviness is great. Crocell really pushing the envelope of the blackened death metal.  The melodies and riffing are black metal for sure. Almost a little old school Dissection, in spots.  The song slows and then back to some mid-paced heaviness and blast beats. Dual-layered vocals add to the intensity as the song slows and more melodic picking. Creative guitar work and “By Demons and Devils” is another damn good song. Monstrous blast beats.  Terrific blackened death metal. If you were looking for more of their chunky riffing and death metal leanings found on their previous releases understand Crocell have gone in a more blackened death metal direction on this.  So the production on this ep is maybe more geared towards a black metal album.  So a bit more trebly as compared to a heavier death metal sound. Regardless; this first ep works and this last song is intense as all hell.

Funeral Bliss is the second ep also with four songs. “Marching As One” is up next and the production is heavier. Leaning more towards their earlier efforts. I notice more of a heaviness in the guitar production.  Still with black metal influence but a bit more death metal to the punch with a fuller production and deeper vocals are also on this song alongside the raspy vocals. Classic speeds take us back to the early 90’s before more intense blasts erupt. Again a real cool opener on this ep before “Scornful” comes in. Epic buildup right into a ferocious blast beat. Terrific tones on this with regards to vocals and guitar melodies. The guitar tone resembling Soulburn’s meaty blackened death metal riffing. It’s heavy and thunderous with double bass on the slower and mid paced moments. More buildup moments right before the 3 minute mark. This part is excellent. The song gets into a quick mid-paced chug as the singer lets out a Tom Warrior Celtic Frost stylized uggghhhhh. Then into a mid-paced part. Awesome moment.  This ep title track ends the ep with a ferociously heavy filthy and dirty ditty of a tune.  Plodding, excellent melodies as well as thunderous drums. Great vocals and pounding moments erupt in the middle of the song with the rumbling heaviness. This title track is one of the very best songs Crocell has ever written. Perfect ep closer.

Baptized in Bullets/Funeral Bliss are 2 very good ep’s. The first one having more of a black metal production, vocal and music wise while the second ep infuses more of their death metal influence into the music and production. Therefore the listener will understand the reason for the 2 separate eps. But sometimes a dual release like this can confuse fans and the scene.  For me it would not have made sense if this was just 1 album. I get what Crocell were setting out to do. It’s pretty damn cool.  Crocell are original in many ways and with pretty much a stable lineup for years operate as 1 cohesive unit. Get these pair of ep’s from one of the underground gems who bring it each time on their releases. Now someone please sign Crocell damnit!!

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Frank Rini
January 7th, 2022

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